Hello Fellow Health Seekers - I hope everyone is well and energetic these days. Spring is just around the corner (especially if you live in the southern states) and now is the time to get to know your skin again . . . what I mean by that is . . . it's getting to be that time of year when your skin will be more exposed to the elements and you'll want it to look its best and be comfortable. So what I want to do today is to educate you as to what it does, how it functions, and how important it is that you take utmost care of it so that it will provide you with a lifetime of health and good looks. Your skin is your largest organ and is not to be neglected nor taken for granted, which unfortunately, is often the case - especially with men.
Skin FAQS 101 - Interesting Information About Your Skin
1. Skin cells die and re-grow every 19-28 days.
2. The skin produces approximately 2 teaspoons or 10 grams of dead skin dander per day. The fine flakes of skin make up a large propotion of the dust in your house - which is eaten by dust mites - and hopefully they are sucked up by your vacuum cleaner!
3. The skin loses approximately 30,000+ dead cells off the surface every minute.
4. The skin measures 16-21 square feet.
5. An average square inch of the skin has 90-100 sebaceous glands (oil glands); 20 blood arteries/veins/capillaries; 50,000+ melanocytes; 600+ sweat glands; and over 1,000 nerve endings.
6. The skin's average thickness is approximately .10 inches.
7. The hair on the head grows about 1 mm in 3 days and a fingernails grows 1 mm in 12 days.
8. The skin does not "breathe" in the sense that the lungs breathe; nevertheless, the skin takes in (through its pores) 1.9% of the oxygen and gives off 2.7 % of the carbon dioxide converted in the organism as a whole. Your skin does absorb approximately 60% of what is applied to it, depending on the size of the molecules of the substance and the condition of the skin at the time of application. So, in a sense it "eats" and can transport some substances - good or bad - directly into the subsurface of the skin and even into the bloodstream. That's good enough reason to use only pure, chemical-free skin care and personal care products! You are what you eat . . . and absorb through your skin, lungs, and digestive system.
9. As a complex structure, your skin performs 9 essential jobs for the body:
- It protects us from physical, chemical, biological, thermal, and electrical damage.
- Helps the body maintain a steady temperature.
- Acts as a moisture regulator, preventing excessive entry and evaporation of water.
- Prevents excessive loss of minerals.
- Converts ultraviolet rays into vitamin D3, part of the vitamin D complex that helps us maintain strong bones by enhancing absorption of calcium and other minerals.
- Serves as a highly sensitive sensory organ, responding to heat, cold, pain, pleasure, and pressure.
- Metabolizes and stores fat.
- Secretes sebum, an oily lubricating substance.
- Assists in processes of excretion of salts, urea, water, and toxins via sweating.
10. The skin's ability to self-heal decreases as a person ages. Because the epidermis - or outermost visible layer - has no blood supply its source comes from infusion through the lower layers of the skin - the dermis and subcutaneous. As a result of the skin being forced to intake oxygen through its pores, a clean regime (both through clean-eating & keeping the skin clean) is of utmost importance to eliminating the deficiencies of both the necessary oxidation of the cells as well as the antioxidation effect on "free radicals" that are inherent in the aging process.
11. The varioius internal glands responsible for supplying the various elements necessary for a healthy skin cells such as nutrients, oxygenation, hydration, lubrication, protection, desquamation (exfoliation), etc., decrease their production abilities during aging thereby reducing the skin's ability to self-repair, self-protect, and perform its functions as mandated.
12. Stress in the human body as well as excess sugar and flour intake (refined or unrefined) causes an increase of cortisol, which in turn causes a degradation of the protein collagen which then accelerates skin aging (wrinkling / sagging). Learn destressing techniques such as tai chi, qi gong, yoga, meditation, walking, gardening, etc. and by all means keep refined foods to an absolute minimum!
13. The cells in younger skin have a faster turnover rate.
14. The more layers of melanin cells (melanocytes), the darker the color of the skin.
15. As skin cells are formed, they move in an upward direction normally starting at the basal (base) layer and, depending on the age and other influences, will arrive at the top layer (stratun corneum or epidermis) some 20 to 60 days later where they should be automatically "sloughed off". Depending on the age, skin care regimen, and health of the individual, skin cells are shed at differing rates. If they are allowed to build up, extreme dry skin and discomfort can result. Illnesses such as eczema and psoriasis reveal themselves as patches of thickened skin, some dead and some still living.
16. Aging skin becomes thinner causing the cell repair rate to decrease which could result in the dermis layer being damaged.
Your skin is apparently a very busy organ, so in order to keep it at peak function level and at its healthiest, be sure to eat well everyday, avoiding all refined and synthetic foods. Take care while out in the sun - avoid over exposure! Exercise daily to oxygenate your cells and eliminate waste through your lungs and pores. Drink lots of water and a minimal amount of caffeinated beverages to remain hydrated. Moisturize your skin or "living hide" daily so as to avoid dehydration and premature wrinkling. And, be sure that your colon is working as it should . . . evacuation should take place at least 2-3x per day so that all toxins are eliminated from your body and not reabsorbed.
I hope you found this blog educational. Don't forget to wash and moisturize your face tonight and don't ignore your skin from the neck down, either. Remember, good looking healthy skin doesn't stop at your collar bones.
Until next time - be happy, healthy, and whole.
NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, Lic. esthetician, herbalist, aromatherapist, and author. All recommendation are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only. Portions of this article were adapated from DERMASCOPE Magazine, August 2011 issue, page 89.